Former Australian cricketer Brad Hogg on Saturday picked his best playing XI in the Test format based on current performances. And the Aussie snubbed Indian cricketer Virat Kohli from his lineup before explaining the reason behind his choice.
Hogg picked India's Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma as his openers, who recently scored a double century each during the team's home campaign as part of the World Test Championship. And then picked the Australian pair of Marbus Labuschagne and Steve Smith as his No.3 and No.4. Labuschagne finished 2019 as the leading run-getter in Tests while Smith made a phenomenal return to Test cricket with a record performance in Ashes in England last summer.
A notable miss from Hogg's lineup was Kohli and explained the snub by mentioning the Indian captain's unimpressive run tally in his last 15 Tests.
“Everyone will ask why is Virat Kohli not in this team?” he said. “But if you look at his last 15 Test innings, only four times he has gone over 31 [runs]. That’s why Virat Kohli is not my Test team this year”, the 49-year-old explained.
Hogg, meanwhile, also explained the reason behind his Babar Azam's inclusion in his lineup.
“The reason why I have included Babar Azam in the lineup is that he scored a hundred against Australia in Brisbane when Pakistan toured Australia last year,” said Hogg. “It’s very hard for overseas teams to perform on that particular wicket but he showed that he could and that is why he is one of the best players going around,” he added in a video on his official YouTube channel.
Brad Hogg’s current Test XI: Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Babar Azam, Ajinkya Rahane, Quinton De Kock (C/WK), Pat Cummins, Mohammed Shami, Neil Wagner, Nathon Lyon.